A Tale of Two Cities
The Complete Short Stories
Fahrenheit 451
Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Navigators of Dune
End of Watch
The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
King Henry VI, Part 3
King Henry VI, Part 2
Henry VI, Part 1
King Henry IV, Part Two
King Henry IV, Part 1
Richard II
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
The Rosie Effect
On the Nature of Things
So Anyway


Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Company of Friends

 The Company of Friends
 by Tony Manera

The Company of Friends: A Story about Politics, Crime and Corruption Self Published
July 2013
333 Pages
From The Publisher:

THE COMPANY OF FRIENDS: A Story about Politics, Crime and Corruption is a political mystery/thriller involving the assassination of Elizabeth Stone, the first woman elected US president. There are no clues, suspects or apparent motive. Despite the use of the most sophisticated forensic tools, all initial efforts to find the killer fail to produce results. Is this the perfect murder? Frustrated, but determined to see that justice is done, FBI agent George Baker penetrates the twisted sub-culture of the underworld, breaking through the wall of silence that shields the perpetrator of such a heinous crime. The killer is charged, convicted and sentenced to death. But the question of motive remains unanswered. Did he act alone, or was he hired by someone? Further investigation establishes linkages between the president's assassin, several corrupt politicians and The Company of Friends, a secretive organization that runs some legitimate businesses, pays all taxes and supports a variety of charities. Its most lucrative activities, however, are illegal, driven by insatiable greed and made possible by corruption in high places. They involve bribery, insider trading, buying and selling of information and a variety of other illicit schemes. The reader is taken through the seamy side of American politics, exposing how money can buy influence, breeding corruption and subverting the democratic process. The multi-layered structure designed to insulate the masterminds behind this house of corruption is brought down by the relentless efforts of the FBI and its law enforcement partners. The evil genius behind the complex and seemingly foolproof plot to assassinate the president is finally unmasked and brought to justice. What makes the narrative so compelling is its sheer audacity and scope. Issues ranging from the economy, the environment, corruption in business and politics, to Quebec secessionists, create a sense of the complexity of the world lived at the presidential level. Furthermore, everything in the novel could actually happen. The reader does not have to suspend belief in reality to accept the characters and events as presented. The story winds up with a well-balanced and sometimes surprising conclusion for each of the major characters.
Smell The Book Review

8 out of 10.

"If you have been playing the game
for a while and haven't figured
out who the patsy is,
then you're the patsy"  P311

Tony Manera has written a captivating and intriguing crime novel. From the opening pages with the assassination of the President to the surprise conclusion, and in all the steps his characters take in solving the crime, the story held me fast. A corrupt "Star Chamber" of elite insiders, a murder conspiracy, all familiar elements and well utilized by Tony.
The only part of the story where readers have to "suspend their disbelief" is in believing that we will ever see the Americans have an independent candidate as President in our lifetime ;-). Apart from that the plot and storylines were very realistic which I like.
I recently read "Sussex Drive" with the Ottawa Book Club, a Canadian based political story which myself and most members of the club found extremely boring and pointless. I couldn't help but think of that book and wondered why Mr. Manera's book was much more appealing to me. Is it because his is based on USA vs Canadian politics? I have always found Canadian politics an extreme bore when compared to our American counterparts and I don't know if a story like this would fly with Canada as a backdrop. Certainly the story had more of an attraction to me being set in this background.
Mr, Manera has done his homework and his knowledge of law procedure and the political structure in the states impressed me.
If there was something I didn't respond to in Mr. Manera's book it is that I found it a little light in character development. I enjoy getting to know my characters, what makes them tick etc., and found that there is no main protagonist to root for. No "hero" that links the various facets of his story. Again, though the story was interesting and I was anxious to find out "whodunnit", there was no individual character I cared about. People came and went, lived and died but I could have cared less about them as I had no investment in the characters. but despite this, the story itself made me keep turning pages.
So overall a worthwhile read and one I would recommend.
8 Out of 10

Brief Bio
Anthony (Tony) S. Manera lives in Ottawa, Canada.  He enjoys reading and writing, listening to music and gardening year round.

He holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California and is the author of "Solid State Electronic Circuits - for Engineering Technology" (McGraw-Hill, NY 1973) and "A Dream Betrayed - the Battle for the CBC" (Stoddart, Toronto 1996). He has recently written several additional fiction and non-fiction works available as ebooks and paperback formats in English, French, Italian and German.

Now retired, he has worked as a professional engineer in the US defense and aerospace industry, as a professor of electronics and mathematics at the university and polytechnic levels and as President and CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as well as two Canadian community colleges (Niagara in Ontario and Vancouver in British Columbia).
He has done extensive consulting work in North America, Asia and Europe in the fields of higher education, broadcasting, management, human resources and governance.
He has also served on numerous corporate boards in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
Book Details
Create Space URL:
Barnes and Noble URL:

No comments:

Post a Comment